This is it gentlemen and ladies too, maybe. Championship week is upon us. Some of you may have started your championship week last Monday, but this is the big week for most in head-to-head and for those in roto leagues, hopefully its close enough to make this last set of games interesting. In most instances this last week of games will include next week through the end of the season on next Thursday.
There is zero room for error so think hard through your lineup choices this week, just don’t overthink it in the process. Take a look at your players upcoming schedules and also consider injuries and guys being shut down.
Here is a list of some of the guys I do and do not like this week.
Guys I Like This Week
Arron Afflalo – SG, Denver Nuggets: I wonder how many people are really aware of just how good Afflalo has been since the all-star break and how deserving he really is of must start status, every single week. So far in the month of April Afflalo is averaging 19.6 points per game, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 three-pointers. Afflalo has gone from a good defender, decent three-point shooter to the focal point of the Nuggets offense. On top of being on fire for two straight months now, Afflalo also has a nice set of six games coming up including Minnesota and Phoenix. It’s time to give this guy his dues.
Tiago Splitter – PF/C, San Antonio Spurs: This one is probably a deep league play, 12 teams or more, but there is some sneaky value here. The Spurs have more games than anyone between now and the end of the season with eight games. Even more important, those eight games are in an 11 day timespan. Splitter will probably have a game or two in which he plays under 20 minutes and doesn’t do much, but he’ll also have a couple games where Tim Duncan doesn’t play at all and Splitter starts and plays big minutes. I can see 10 points and 7 rebounds per game from Splitter while he plays 20 minutes per game on average. If he can add a block per game in with that he makes a nice deep league play.
New Orleans Hornets Players: This is a bad team, but they are not completely devoid of fantasy value. The Hornets have six games in this set including Golden State and Charlotte, as well as three combined games with the Rockets and Clippers which aren’t bad defenses, but they are nothing more than middle of the road. I mentioned last week the value of Greivis Vasquez as the team’s point guard. Eric Gordon may seem like a risk to some owners, but he’s a risk I would be willing to take based on the potential for huge scoring games on a team with few scoring options. Meanwhile Chris Kaman and Jason Smith should provide strong numbers inside, especially rebounding against the weak interiors of Golden State and Charlotte.
Guys I Don’t Like This Week
Toronto Raptors Players: There is really nobody on this team that I trust with my championship on the line. The Raptors are one of the teams out there who only have five games including the Hawks and Heat and an improving Pistons defense. With Bargnani out for the rest of the season there isn’t any must plays on the team. Someone is going to have to score and so if DeMar DeRozan is on your team and you need points, than play him, but if you don’t need points even he isn’t a must play cause that’s about all he does. Ed Davis is intriguing because Bargnani is out and he has upside, but he’s a risky play considering the schedule.
Paul George – SG/SF, Indiana Pacers: I love Paul George, when I do my keeper rankings he’ll probably rank pretty high, but he’s hitting a wall right now and might be in need of a recharge. George has been getting good rebound totals, but he’s struggling to score, he’s shooting 35% from the field in April and he’s not making three’s at all. There’s the chance that because of his poor performances lately the Pacers start working two point guard backcourts with Darren Collison and George Hill, not to mention increased minutes for Leandro Barbosa who is scoring the ball well right now. George’s future is bright, but the short term isn’t so much.
Drew Gooden – PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks: Do you really know what you’re going to get from Gooden at this point? One night he scores 26 points and the next night he gets seven points and five rebounds. So far this month he is averaging just over 10 points per game and just under five rebounds per game. The Bucks have been giving Ekpe Udoh almost as many minutes as Gooden on some nights and its taking a toll on his fantasy owners. Those days of Gooden averaging 15 and 10 and being a must play are over. I wouldn’t gamble my fantasy title with him.